How to Use a Hardwood Floor Buffer (5 Easy Steps)

how to use a hardwood floor buffer

When your hardwood floor becomes dull and lifeless over time, what is the best way to return its shine and luster? A floor buffer always comes to the rescue. A floor buffer is a machine used in cleaning floors.

We would be educating you on how to use a hardwood floor buffer. To use one, you must clear the area, mix the right amount of chemical in the tank and then go straight to work after which you clean and remove all unused solutions from the buffer.

Buffers are pretty bulky, making them difficult for the operator to move around the base.

A buffer cleans the bottom by rotating at a speed of 175-300 RMPs and can be used on most floors. It can also wax, buff, and scrub various floor types.

Related: How to Get Sap off Hardwood Floor

Why Use a Hardwood Buffer?

It Is Multi-Functional

It can be used for various cleaning purposes. It has floor cleaning, maintenance, and floor care functions. You only need to attach the appropriate tools and accessories required for the particular job on your buffer.

It Saves Money and Time

Most hardwood buffers are electrical or require a battery to function. It makes the job faster, saving time and money from labor costs.

It Is Convenient and Effective

Some floor cleaning tools require health and safety guidelines because of the chemicals used. floor buffers are straightforward to use and require less training and are very effective in cleaning floors

How to Use a Hardwood Floor Buffer

Below outline are the steps of how to use a hardwood floor buffer.

1) Clear the Area

  • Remove any furniture from the floor space.
  • Clean the floor to remove dirt or dust particles from the floor.

2) Prep Your Machine 

  • Mix the right amount of chemical into the solution/shampoo tank.
  • Follow the instructions on the label of the bottle exactly. Mixing too much solution can leave residue on the floor and make it look worse than when you started.
  • Put the floor scrubbing pad on the pad driver and apply the correct pressure(Red for every day scrubbing, Blue for medium-duty scrubbing, and Green for heavy-duty scrubbing).
  • Brushes or pads can be used. This depends on the surface that needs scrubbing. Pads are great for smooth tiles, while brushes work great on floors with grout lines.

3) Operating Your Buffer 

  • Unfold the power cord and keep behind the machine out of your way, or you can hang it over one shoulder to assist with easy movement of the machine
  • Put the grip of the buffer into your belt line.
  • Ensure to use both your hands to pull down on the safety lever and start the machine. Learn to flow with the device for easy use. A simple down pressure will cause the machine to scrub to the left.
  • Once the machine reaches about a 45° angle from where you began, slightly lift on the handle, and the machine will scrub to the right. Repeat these steps as you slowly begin to move forward, all the while pulling the handle on the solution. tank to dispense the solution as you go. Because of its circular shape, a handheld scrub pad is suggested for reaching the corners of the room.

4) Solution Removal

  • Wipe down walls of any solutions that may have gotten on them, leave doors and windows open for proper ventilation and allow them to dry

5) Clean Up 

  • Clean and remove any unused solution from the tank of the machine.
  • Remove the pod holder from the bottom of the machine. If the machine rests on the brush or pad driver, the bristles can become bent and rendered unusable.
  • Take all pads and rinse them out. You can soak in clean water for deeper cleaning. Once clean, leave the pads in an upright position to air dry.
  • Return all furniture to the room.
  • Wipe down all machinery and other items.

Read: How to Install Hardwood Floor around Fireplace

Hardwood Buffer Review

Choosing the best buffer machine for your hardwood floors can be difficult as many options. Here is a list and review of the top 3 buffer machines.

Name  Category
Oreck Commercial ORB550MCBest overall
Oreck commercial BB900 DGRXL PRO5Budget pick
Mercury floor machine PRO 150020PRO Upgrade pick

1. Oreck Commercial ORB550MC Floor Machine

Oreck Commercial Orbiter Hard Floor Cleaner Machine ,Multi-Purpose Hardwood Wood Laminate Carpet Tile Concrete Grout Marble Floor Cleaning, 50-Foot Long Cord, ORB550MC, Gray/Red
  • MULTI-PURPOSE CLEANING: Commercial grade cleaner and effective on all types of flooring surfaces. Sand, refinish, strip, scrub, wax, and polish, as well as deep clean your carpets.
  • EASY TO MANEUVER: Brush head rotates in a random orbital pattern to glide over the floor and prevent brush marks, swirls, sanding marks and gouges.
  • DEEP CLEAN CARPETS: Dry cleans carpets so it won't leave a soapy or sticky residue that can attract dirt and cause rapid re-soiling. It's also safe for use in homes with children and pets
  • EXTRA LONG CORD: Equipped with 50 ft. cord to move from room to room without the hassle of unplugging
  • WHAT'S INCLUDED: Oreck Commercial 12 in. Driver Pad Holder (53178-51-0327)

Last update on 2022-04-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


  • Lightweight
  • Easy to maneuver
  • Great suction


  • No hose attachments
  • No height adjustment
  • Small vacuum head size

2. Oreck Commercial BB900 DGR XL Pro 5

Last update on 2022-04-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


  • Easy to move around
  • High power function
  • Easy adjustment


  • Prone to breakage
  • Limited bags

3. Mercury Floor Machine Pro 150020

Mercury Floor Machines PRO150020 PRO-1500 20 Ultra High-Speed Burnisher, 1.5hp
  • 1.5 hp, DC rectified motor eliminates brownouts
  • 13-15 amps amp draw
  • 175 rpm brush speed
  • Polished aluminum chassis
  • 50 foot (15 M) safety yellow 14/3 gallon power cord

Last update on 2022-04-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


  • Faster and brighter shine
  • Flexible pad holder


  • Heavyweight

Read: How to Clean with Bona Power Plus Hardwood Floor Cleaner


Before you buff hardwood floors, please find out the finishing used on them. Some finishes prevent the floor from being refinished and buffed correctly.

This article was written to give you in-depth knowledge about how to use a hardwood floor buffer.

Regardless of the outcome of your decision regarding a hardwood floor buffer, we’re pretty sure it would be the right one for you.

It is our sincere hope that this article help give you the knowledge you require, if it did, kindly share it across your social media platforms.

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